From Home Office to She Shed! Tips for DIY Room Remodel on a Budget

My She Shed Before and After + Tips for DIY Room Remodel on a Budget

If you follow me on Instagram, then you've already caught a glimpse into a major DIY project that has basically consumed my spare time from late September to early October: remodeling my home office aka"She Shed" as Antoinette (@supxdine) calls it.

Before I get into the nitty gritty details about why, how, and how much, let me say this — nothing (and I mean nothing) will try your patience, resolve, and soul like a DIY home improvement project. I can't tell you how many times I had to dig deeeeeep into my Taurus reserve of stubborn resolve just to get to the next phase.

The reward was 137% worth the effort, and I enjoy myself 200x more knowing that I busted my butt to get here. But I just had to warn whoever's reading this and thinking, "hmm, maybe I should do my own home remodel..."

If you're willing to dig deep, push yourself, and see it through to the end — go for it! Just don't say I didn't warn you. 🙃

Now let's get down to bidness.

Why I Did It
Ever since Samuel and I moved in together, I've had my own room and he's had his man cave. I initially envisioned the space to account for three things in my life at the time:
Naturally, my room was supposed to serve as the "hub" for all my professional and creative pursuits. And as a work-from-home office (complete with TV for ambient sound via reruns of American Dad and Teen Titans Go!), it was phenomenal.

As a creative space...not so much.

My She Shed Before and After + Tips for DIY Room Remodel on a Budget

Two major things were wrong with my room: brown walls (wood paneling), and an abysmal spatial arrangement. I rocked with it as long as I could, making it work (barely). As I ventured back into the traditional in-office working world in January 2018, revamping the space fell lower and lower on my list of priorities. Eventually, I reached the point where I didn’t even want to spend time in the room — so it slowly became a place to “drop off” stuff I didn’t feel like putting away.

Over time, it became increasingly difficult to find my motivation to blog, take pictures, and record videos.  I reached my creative rock bottom and felt totally uninspired to do any of the work that brings me joy. More than this, I began feeling like I didn’t truly have a space of my own, which for a territorial homebody like me, triggers a little bit of stress and anxiety.

Samuel had his man cave... and I had the domestic equivalent of a church overflow room.

I had reached my limit, and something had to change.

With no budget, no plan, and no idea what I was getting myself into, I called my friend Antoinette (from Sup and Dine) for some help.

Phase 1: Reimagining
The first thing Antoinette had me do was clean up. I firmly believe she’s on a personal crusade against clutter, and I’ve grown to appreciate the fact that she refused to go anywhere near the actual project until I cleaned my sh*t up. She literally held my paint samples hostage, y'all.

After I provided photo proof that my room was clean, she came over to assess the space. I told her that I had two goals: to create a space that inspired me, and a space that I actually would want to spend time in.

Since my room is long and not very wide (think shoebox), she proposed using furniture to create a distinct split in the space — half work, half chill. I was excited — and ready to roll out to IKEA that second. But in true Antoinette form, she wanted me to test the concept with my current furniture and make sure the flow would work for me.

So I re-arranged my room according to her vision, dragged a chair from the living room for a mock seating area, and sat with this hot mess of a set-up for a week:

My She Shed Before and After + Tips for DIY Room Remodel on a Budget

Phase 2: The Waiting Game
Once we had a rough proof of concept, Antoinette then provided me paint sample colors and a new challenge: test them out, watch them in different types of light, and "sit" with them for several days. As annoying as this was, I'm glad I took her advice. I already knew I wanted a cooler white, and assumed I'd be going for the brightest white in the sample bucket.

My She Shed Before and After + Tips for DIY Room Remodel on a Budget

Once I saw it on wood, I hated it. It looked like I had painted my wall with white-out. This would mark the first of many times that I'd send her a signature (albeit expected) text: #YouWereRight.

Phase 3: Do the Work
Once I settled on a color, it was time to put a plan in motion. I opted for Valspar's Cool Gray (which isn't gray at all) with an eggshell finish since I'd be painting over wood paneling. Yes, I decided to leave the paneling up. Here's why:

  • It would be a LOT of paneling to remove
  • Not one single soul knows what's behind the paneling
  • I have no clue how to repair walls, and didn't want to pay someone that did
  • I liked the idea of having texture on my walls

My She Shed Before and After + Tips for DIY Room Remodel on a Budget

Throughout the course of one weekend, I ran myself into the ground transforming these walls from brown brown to an inviting, brilliant white. On Friday,  I had a little help from Samuel with nailing/securing some loose panels. On Saturday, bless his soul, he tried to help me with primer — but gave up before completing his side of the room. I proceeded to do 2 coats of Kilz indoor primer on the entire room, including window trims. That same day, I managed to get the first coat of Valspar Cool Gray down.

Sunday morning, I laid the second and final coat of paint — and that's when I finally saw my vision coming to life. And by Sunday afternoon, the most torturous part of this process was done.

If you're going to paint over wood paneling in your place, you'll need the following:

My She Shed Before and After + Tips for DIY Room Remodel on a Budget

Got Wood Paneling? Read This.
And before you get started, you'll also want to get an outside opinion on the current state of your paneling. It could require repair, sanding, or other work prior to paint. Also, make sure that whatever paint rollers you choose, the nap is high enough to get into the grooves of your wood paneling. I highly recommend 3/4 inch. And for the love of all that is holy, use an extension pole. Samuel didn't clue me in on this bit until Sunday morning. Needless to say, I could've saved a lot of time. 

My She Shed Before and After + Tips for DIY Room Remodel on a Budget

Phase 4: Spend the Money
I proudly sent the above photo to Antoinette, proving that I was ready to go on to the next phase and purchase furniture. Understanding my budget, she made a desk recommendation to start. I tried to undercut her suggestion and go for one $50 cheaper — and I ended up sending that #YouWereRight text in the middle of IKEA.

While at IKEA, I also picked out my desk chair, and TV stand. If you plan to shop IKEA, the desk is ALEX, the chair is TOBIAS, and the TV stand is BRIMNES. For similar pieces, you can also take a look at this Amazon list I created!

My She Shed Before and After + Tips for DIY Room Remodel on a Budget

That Monday, we did an after-work whirlwind through Cost Plus World Market (my new favorite store btw), Home Goods, and two Targets. Throughout the rest of the week, I would go on to make another trip to Cost Plus World Market to retrieve a few things I left behind (because #SheWasRight), two more trips to Home Goods (another #YouWereRight moment), one more Target run, a Wal-Mart stop, and one final trip to The Container Store.

Don't ask me how much gas I burned. I don't even wanna think about it. My only saving grace was that I work less than 5 minutes away from Home Goods and The Container Store. Because the majority of what I bought was on sale/clearance or purchased at a discount retailer, I took the liberty of creating an Amazon Store list to share with you all. This list features furniture and decor items similar in color and style to my current set-up. Check the list out here.

My She Shed Before and After + Tips for DIY Room Remodel on a Budget

Here's the full breakdown of everything I grabbed for the remodel:

Cost Plus World Market

My She Shed Before and After + Tips for DIY Room Remodel on a BudgetHome Goods
Since I can't link you to the exact ones, I found similar items on Amazon. You can also check out my full list of similar items here.
  • Water hyacinth large woven basket
  • Calvin Klein blue faux fur throw pillow
  • Faux fur chair throw
  • Analog desk alarm clock
The Container Store
My She Shed Before and After + Tips for DIY Room Remodel on a Budget

Phase 5: Refine, but be Fine
It took an entire week to compile everything that would finally stay in the "she shed". Every day, I was picking something up on my lunch break, making exchanges or returns after work, or doubling back to get something I previously didn't go for because yep, Antoinette was right. And then there was painting my door (I left it for last because ya girl was all paint and primer'd out). Not to mention, Samuel working overtime to assemble my IKEA purchases.

But let me tell you — that glorious Saturday morning when I walked in, and plopped down on my loveseat? I could not have been happier or more proud. My space was finally complete enough. I know, I know. How the heck did I buy allllll that stuff, do allllll that work, and manage to still not be completely done?

My She Shed Before and After + Tips for DIY Room Remodel on a Budget

Easy — I still want a few tiny, but non-urgent things. Like an in-drawer desk organizer, and replacement storage baskets for my photo props. And a pouf ottoman for my chill space. But all those things, I can live without for now. Except maybe the pouf. I reeeeeeeeallllllly want a pouf (somebody remind Antoinette, because two people bugging her is better than one 😂).

Initially, I wanted a jute or woven pouf. Antoinette fought me every step of the way. She threatened to kill me if I sent her one more picture from Home Goods or Overstock. Swear.

Miraculously, I stumbled upon this faux fur ottoman at Target, and Antoinette said YES! I picked it up on my way home from work, brought it home, and fell in love.

The gold accents my side table perfectly, and the white faux fur fits right in. Interestingly enough, it sits higher than my loveseat, but that works even better for me. Even though like every home decor website suggests ottomans be the same height or lower than the seating, I prefer my feet propped up. This ottoman gives me exactly that, as it sits roughly 2 inches higher than my loveseat.

Ok, I'm done buying stuff for now. Promise.

More than anything, I'm just over the moon to finally to have a space that's 137% for me. That reflects my taste and interests. That's peaceful, functional, and inspiring. A place that I can't wait to spend time in every day.

The Budget
I kept going back and forth about whether or not to share this part, because my pockets are my business. But at the same time, I want to be helpful. Going in to this project, I had no idea what the true cost of a room renovation was. Google was no help — because most projects started around $3-6K. Not today, satan. I'm cheap, I love a good sale (clearance and coupons, even more), and I wanted a nice space while spending the smallest amount of money possible. Here's a rough breakdown of expense by area:

Chill Area: $650
Includes: TV stand, loveseat, area rug, table, pillows, baskets, blanket, and faux plant.

Workspace: $300
Includes: desk, chair, faux fur throw, faux plant, and clock.

Painting Supplies: $250
Includes: lots of paint, primer, rollers, trays, tape, drop cloths, and of course, paint remover.

My She Shed Before and After + Tips for DIY Room Remodel on a Budget

There you have it, folks. I would have loved to spend less money on paint and supplies, but I was starting from scratch. If you have rollers and such already, use them. Repurpose and keep anything you can to cut costs. And if your carpet isn't a hot mess like mine, skip the area rug (unless that's just your thing). 

All in all, I could not be more grateful for Antoinette's guidance, suggestions, vision, and attention to detail. Plus, she's pretty fun to run around town with. If you're even considering a room remodel or refresh, do yourself a favor and follow her on Instagramlike her Facebook page, and subscribe to her newsletter before you get started.

And without further delay, a few more photos of my space:

My She Shed Before and After + Tips for DIY Room Remodel on a Budget

My She Shed Before and After + Tips for DIY Room Remodel on a Budget
It was a tiny detail for the desk, but I love it. And it was $7.

My She Shed Before and After + Tips for DIY Room Remodel on a Budget
I love this chair, with or without the faux fur.

My She Shed Before and After + Tips for DIY Room Remodel on a Budget
The entire set-up is Bailey approved (and ScotchGarded).
I use this tool to remove her fur.

My She Shed Before and After + Tips for DIY Room Remodel on a Budget
I didn't want this table at first. Now I'm obsessed with it. #SheWasRight

My She Shed Before and After + Tips for DIY Room Remodel on a Budget
Faux greenery for the win!

My She Shed Before and After + Tips for DIY Room Remodel on a Budget
Same organizer, different baskets (and a lot less product)

My She Shed Before and After + Tips for DIY Room Remodel on a Budget
I didn't need more coasters, but I'm in love.

My She Shed Before and After + Tips for DIY Room Remodel on a Budget
Night and day doesn't even begin to describe the difference.

My She Shed Before and After + Tips for DIY Room Remodel on a Budget
I just love this new space from every angle.

 If you have any questions about the she shed, hit me up on Instagram!


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